Engineering and Construction Company Giant Increases Overall Production by Implementing a Customized ASP Solution
The Business Challenge
LG E&C of Korea, headquartered in Seoul, Korea, is currently an industry leader in their country, as well as a major player throughout Asia, the Middle East, CIS and the United States. Late in 1999, they were faced with problems common to all businesses in vertical markets – corporate growth, team and document management issues, and project collaboration. Although LG E&C enjoyed a significant annual growth rate, the prospects for increased growth were becoming more difficult to obtain. In the recent past, engineers at LG E&C worked in centralized design teams, where individuals working on the same project sat in adjacent cubicles, or perhaps down the hall, where they can easily meet with one another to compare notes and files (stored in “file cabinet” systems), share information, iron out problems and coordinate activities. However, in their company’s current status of globally distributed product development environment, LG E&C’s various divisions and groups are often located around the world. To complicate matters further, critical aspects of product development such as analysis and manufacturing are now typically separated from the design group and are increasingly outsourced. It is not unusual for LG E&C and its partners to be many time zones apart. While sending documents and drawings via courier, mail, and fax and communicating through voicemail are valuable components of LG E&C’s existing office structure, all make poor substitutes for simultaneous real-time collaboration and readily accessible workspace.
As their designs became more complex and innovative products became more important markets, the added value of readily available information and true collaboration has become critical to the growing LG E&C. They know that their teams can easily share ideas and information and work together if all their key information resources are readily available and have the ability to perform in collaborative sessions, the right people make better decisions in a fraction of the time and information about these decisions. Therefore, finding a way to manage their projects and documents and having the ability to do real-time conferencing and collaboration will provide them a competitive advantage to their users.
In June 2000, the General Manager, Sung Jin Kim, and the Chief Information Officer, SH Kim, for LG E&C realized that, like all successful companies, maintaining solid growth would be their top priority. A seamless, more manageable document/task management and real-time collaborative system would enable LG E&C to handle their increased capacity in globally distributed projects, and thereby fostering a faster rate of corporate growth, while yielding productivity, cost-efficiency, and ultimately, investors profit; a simple solution which addressed prohbitively complex obstacles.
After numerous inquiries and visits to other ASP companies, LG E&C selected Web4 to implement a customized ASP project management and collaboration system. Sung Jin Kim, General Manager for LG E&C commented, “After numerous interviews with other ASPs, and fact-finding sessions, our team found that Web4’s proprietary technology is by far the most superior. The fact that Web4 already has a working ASP model for the A/E/C industry (Web4engineers.com) also gave them a huge competitive advantage over the rest.” Koushik Dutta, Chief Information Officer of Web4, recalls his motivation behind this development for LG E&C – “Web4’s approach is to build tailored solutions to meet the needs of each individual client, on a case-by-case basis.” “Too often,” according to Mr. Dutta, ” ‘prepackaged’ solutions and software address the lowest common denominator, and ultimately fail to fit a customer’s full needs.” By concentrating on all areas of their clients’ needs, Web4 develop relationships, which render total solutions.
Implementing and using the System
The development of this customized ASP system took approximately 6 months. Upon the initial installation, the superiority of Web4’s consulting services became readily apparent. The LG E&C personnel quickly embraced the new system. Their previous system of courier/mail/fax/phone/file cabinet had been cumbersome and inefficient compared to the added power a Web and Internet based solution has to offer. The core of Web4’s solution lay in operational streamlining and automatically making essential key information, documents and drawings available for knowledge and information sharing to all their A/E/C design teams instantaneously – anytime, anywhere in the world. After a brief testing period, LG E&C immediately deployed their new system. Mr. Dutta commented, “Although I am confident in our ability, my nerves were racked by the speed at which LG E&C deployed the new system.” However, the implementation and deployment processes went seamlessly with only minor flaws. “I was impressed with the installation results, which surpassed even the client’s expectations.”
The Bottom Line Advantage
According to Web4, there were two major advantages this new customized ASP system provided for LG E&C. First, the new system helped LG E&C reduce their development times and improve their internal processes, thus saving time and money. Second, it centralized all project information, granting easy access to data at all levels of the organizational structure and simultaneously securing proprietary company project information.
First and foremost, this new customized ASP system enabled LG E&C to reduce their development times and project duration allowing for instant access to key information and documents which lead to better, faster decision making, smoother workflow and review processes, and clear, cost-effective communication amongst all the team members. This, of course, ultimately, allowed for dramatic growth in terms of their sales figures as well as net income figures.
Secondly, this new customized ASP system centralized all data relating to the overall team and project management for their A/E/C design team. Essentially, this served not only to augment the availability of information to all team members, but it also secured proprietary company project key information resources essential to a more effective and smoother operation of LG E&C. Previous to this ASP customized system, the information was fragmented and decentralized, making it difficult and time consuming to access. In part, this property inherent in courier/mail/fax/phone/file cabinet systems, was the major contributor to the time-consuming, labor-intensive communication nature of LG E&C’s process.
The new ASP customized system delivered an immediate return on investment in time and cost savings to LG E&C by having their key information resources available for communication, as well as for real-time collaboration to the people who need them – local or global offices, from engineering to their manufacturing departments, consultants, and suppliers. This allowed for more accurate and intelligent, as well as a faster decision-making process. Information became more centralized thereby becoming more manageable and secure with the implementation of this customized ASP Solution by Web4.